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Algebra 1 Syllabus 2013-2014
Patricia Winkler

pwinkler@houstonisd.org

Algebra 1 is the first math course students in Texas take in the high school curriculum. It can be a difficult course and may, at times, require additional time for preparation and practice. The students are expected to come to class each day with the proper materials and the motivation to succeed in Algebra 1. It is my goal to help the students fill in gaps in their mathematics background and also to challenge them to stretch to meet the goals and objectives of this course as the foundational preparation on their journey to taking AP Calculus. 

Classroom Rules:

1. The students will come to class prepared with the necessary supplies and their completed work. Due to space restrictions in the classroom, I am asking that each student bring no more than one bag into the classroom leaving unnecessary items in their lockers, for the safety of all.

2. Students need to be in the classroom before the tardy bell rings. The School Tardy Policy is in the Student Handbook.

3. Before leaving class, students will be expected to pick up and dispose of any trash in and around their work areas.

4. Students should do their own work.

5. Using class time to work on assignments for another class is not allowed, unless otherwise granted by the teacher.

6. All assignments should be handed in on time. If a student does not have an assignment completed and ready to hand in at the time it is collected, the student will receive a zero (0) for that assignment. If they hand-in the completed assignment by the beginning of the next class meeting, the grade on the assignment will be changed to a 70.

7. The students will treat others with respect and courtesy.

8. The students will refrain from eating, drinking, gum chewing, and personal grooming in class.

9. The students will refrain from sleeping in class or putting their heads down on the desks.

10. Adhere to all rules in DeBakey High School’s Student Handbook and HISD’s Code of Student Conduct.

Consequences:

(1)Warning         (2) Parent Phone Call /counselor referral/conduct cut        (3) Referral to Assistant Principal/conduct cut

Cheating of any kind will result in a zero and disciplinary action described in the Student Handbook.

The above consequences are for a violation of classroom rules or Level I rules.  All violations of other levels will result in consequences as specified in the Student Code of Conduct.

Resources:

Textbook:  McDougal Littell Algebra 1 2007 Texas edition. This textbook and its practice workbook are also available in electronic form, at http://www.classzone.com. The ACTIVATION CODE can be obtained from the teacher.  Also, see your teacher for the school code to hotmath.com.

Materials:

(1)    Each student should have notebook paper along with a 1” – 1.5” binder to organize all returned papers.

(2)     Graph paper (either 4 or 5 squares per inch) is a necessary DAILY supply. If you don’t wish to purchase graph paper, you can create and print graph paper. One online resource is at http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/ .

(3)      Students should always bring a pencil to class.

(4)     Many students find colored pencils/pens and highlighters to be helpful, but they are not required.

(5)     Students will be assigned a numbered TI-84 graphing calculator for use in the classroom, when appropriate. Buying a graphing calculator for home use is optional, but can help build the necessary skills for future math classes. All work that REQUIRES a graphing calculator will take place in the classroom.

(6)     Donations of facial tissue/Kleenex are greatly appreciated.

Grading Procedures:

The final grade a student receives will be calculated as follows:  Tests will be 50% of the grade for each cycle. Quizzes and major assignments will make up 40% each cycle grade. All major assignments will be designated as quiz grades when they are assigned. Daily grades will constitute the remaining 10% of the grade. Daily work will include both classroom work and homework. Some of the daily work assignments will be graded for completion while other assignments will be collected with all or random questions to be graded for correctness. We will follow the school’s general grading policy for retakes. The Math Department’s homework retake policy is stated in #6 of the classroom rules. The Math Department will also drop the lowest quiz each grading cycle. Finally, if a student receives a grade on the first test of each cycle that is lower than a 70, they can schedule with the teacher to take a retake test. The original test grade and the retake test grade will be averaged together to determine the new grade for the test with a maximum grade increase to a 70.

Extra Credit:

There are no opportunities for individual extra credit in this class, so please don’t ask.  However, bonus questions are offered on some quizzes and tests. The teacher reserves the right to also offer extra bonus point assignments to ALL students, when appropriate.

Progress Reports: 

Detailed progress reports specific to the Algebra 1 class will be given to each student during the 4th week of each grading cycle. Parents and students can also keep up-to-date on a student’s progress by logging into Parent-Student-Connect at the Houston ISD Parent website. This resource parallels the teacher’s gradebook and will show grades and averages in as assignments are entered. It is as close to an up-to-the-minute progress report as a parent can get. Parents and students can also set-up features which will send text messages or emails from the system if the student’s grade drops below an average that they determine. Parents and students are STRONGLY ENCOURAGE to sign-up for this resource.

Homework:

A tentative schedule of lessons, homework assignments, quizzes and tests will be provided to students at the beginning of each grading cycle. Students should use this document to plan their course studies.  Students should expect to have homework assigned at every class meeting. The intent of each homework assignment is to give students an opportunity to practice the skills introduced and modeled in the classroom and to give the students an idea of the types of questions that may be seen on a quiz or a test. The homework questions will usually be discussed the next class meeting. If a student does not have their homework available in class when it is called for, no credit is given. All necessary work must be shown on homework to receive credit. Therefore a sheet with just answers is not sufficient for credit, unless otherwise stated by the teacher.

  • If a student is present for a class lesson, the homework assignment for that lesson is due at the next class period.  If a student is absent at the next class period after a lesson is given, the homework assignment will be due the day he/she returns to class.
  • If the student is absent from class the day a lesson is given, the student should attend the next available morning or after school tutorial to receive help.  The homework assignment for the missed lesson will be due no more than 2 class days after returning from an absence.
  • Students who are absent on the day an assessment is given, must be prepared to makeup the assessment on the day they return to school.
  • Students returning from an absence on the day an assessment is given must be prepared to take the assessment as scheduled, unless the assessment covers the material that was taught the day of the absence. If so, a one class extension will be given.
The teacher may give extended extensions on an individual basis for students with extended illnesses or emergencies. Extensions will not be given for lack of organization or planning on the part of the student.
 
Field Lessons

All students planning to attend a Field Lesson for another subject that requires missing this class must inform me at least 3 class days in advance. They will be responsible for making up the missing instructional material on their own and schedule make up assessments (within 2-3 days after the field lesson) in consultation with me.

Cell Phone Policy

All electronic devices (cell phones, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, etc.) should be turned off and stored in student’s locker or backpack during class. Students should not be listening to music, recording class lessons, taking pictures in class or searching the internet for information unless they have been given specific permission by the teacher each time the use is requested or required. If a student does not adhere to this policy the device will be confiscated and turned in to the office to be held until the following Monday. The student will have to pay the required fine at that time to get their property.

Fire Drill

During a fire drill all students must exit the classroom and go to the designated area together and wait for me to take roll. While out of the building they are to follow all school fire drill procedures or face possible disciplinary action.

Tutoring/Extra Help:

Students will have opportunities to attend tutorials outside of the school day including before school (7:10 AM -7:40 AM), Lunch and after school (3:30 PM – 4:30 PM). Details will be announced in class.

Student Keys to Success:

 

  • Paying full attention in class, taking good notes and reviewing them daily
  • Daily practice of previously learned concepts and working on a regular basis to learn new concepts
  • Working on homework assignments seriously and being prepared to ask specific questions when the homework is reviewed in class
  • Reviewing all quizzes and homework problems before an exam and making sure that these problems can be worked successfully without assistance